Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Presenting Bycatch, a card game about drone surveillance and remote warfare

We’re proud today to present Bycatch, a card game that we have been devel­op­ing and that’s avail­able for pre-order right now.

As the site says, Bycatch is a game about ‘flawed sur­veil­lance, impos­si­ble deci­sions and the peo­ple caught in between.’ Play­ers can shel­ter civil­ians, gath­er intel­li­gence about those of oth­ers and based on this intel­li­gence they can per­form drone strikes to elim­i­nate sus­pect­ed enemies.

Intel­li­gence to inform your actions is gath­ered by using your cam­er­a­phone on anoth­er play­er’s hand of cards. By its very nature this mechan­ic yields incon­clu­sive infor­ma­tion. This mir­rors the infor­ma­tion gath­er­ing and infer­ence process on which gov­ern­ments base their mil­i­tary actions.

We think this is a very impor­tant issue and it deserves a treat­ment that makes it playable and fun with­out triv­i­al­is­ing it. Vio­lence is a com­mon theme in games but it is usu­al­ly not treat­ed crit­i­cal­ly. We hope play­ing Bycatch makes peo­ple think dif­fer­ent­ly and more deeply about cur­rent secu­ri­ty practice.

We’ve been work­ing on this game for the past half year with Sub­alekha Udayasankar across Utrecht, Berlin and Brook­lyn. The game design has evolved over count­less video calls and we have each playtest­ed local­ly. We now feel that we are at the point where we can share the pro­duc­t’s fur­ther devel­op­ment with the world.

For the illus­tra­tions on the cards we are work­ing togeth­er with Agnes Loon­stra who has an amaz­ing draw­ing style. Ties Alfrink of Pony Design Club is help­ing us design the cards and the pack­ag­ing of the final product.

Bycatch is turn­ing into a beau­ti­ful card game, it is fun to play and it will give you a lot to think and talk about. You can pre-order the game on the Bycatch web­site and you will receive your copy at the start of the new year.

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  1. Mark
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 10:53 | Permalink

    It sounds great, but who do I have to bribe to get a copy in time for Christmas?

  2. Kars
    Posted October 27, 2014 at 10:11 | Permalink

    Thanks Mark! Christ­mas was just too tight a dead­line for us. Sign up for the newslet­ter if you want to stay updat­ed about our progress.